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Threats Facing Native Oregon Trees

Growing trees on your property as a home or business owner is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Trees provide a wide variety of benefits for their owners, including privacy, shade, a place for children to play and even a source of fresh fruit for both humans and local wildlife. An even better option if you’re looking to have trees on your property is to go native; native trees and shrubs grow more easily and require less care than non-native species.

Since they are already accustomed to the unique biosphere of the local environment, native Oregon trees can thrive in the soil and water conditions with minimal human interference. Of course, even native trees are vulnerable to certain threats. This article will help you to keep an eye out for the threats facing native Oregon trees:

Threats Facing Native Oregon Trees

Insects

Insect species, both native and non-native, can pose a threat to native trees. Some bugs are merely a nuisance, but others can cause serious harm and even threaten the lives of Oregon’s trees. Periodically inspecting your trees for signs of insect infestation can go a long way toward protecting them from damage caused by pest species.

Beetle larvae are a big cause of problems for native Oregon trees; while most beetles mature into relatively harmless adult insects, many species such as the Bronze Birch Borer can burrow into the bark of a tree and disrupt the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. Signs of a beetle infestation include small holes across the body of the tree.

Aphids are another common pest species; they can be found crawling across the leaves of trees where they suck the sap and ultimately cause the leaves to turn yellow, curl up, and fall off of the branches. While they can cause trees to become unsightly, aphids don’t generally cause major harm directly. They are, however, capable of spreading disease-causing fungus and other major problems.

Many invasive insect species can be dealt with through insecticides; although you should be careful which ones you use as many insecticides can cause more harm than good by killing off beneficial insect species or otherwise harm the trees. As with many of the problems that will appear in this article, regular inspections by a tree service can go a long way toward taking care of the problem preemptively.

Disease

As mentioned above, insects are one of many possible vectors that can spread disease among native Oregon trees. Diseases can be caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses and, in addition to being carried by insects, can enter through wounds in the bark and other damaged parts of the tree. Laminated root rot is just one example of a harmful tree disease; it is caused by a fungus and inhibits tree roots’ ability to transport water and nutrients. Anthracnose is another example of a harmful tree disease; it is caused by a fungus as well. Symptoms include leaves turning brown and falling off of the tree. Pruning dead and dying leaves and branches can help control the spread of this fungus.

Bacterial canker is also a common killer of young native Oregon trees; it causes infected trees to develop brown, damaged spots and occasionally an amber colored ooze may seep out. Pruning can help prevent the spread of this disease as well. The bacteria that causes it is often spread by rain and so pruning during dry weather is usually the safest option. As with the other threats mentioned in this article, taking preventative measures is usually the best option. Regular inspections from a tree service, such as Mr. Tree, can help catch diseases before they become too serious and spread to other trees.

Invasive Plant Species

Native species of trees can also be put at risk by harmful non-native plants. English ivy is an example of an invasive species that has devastated the Pacific Northwest and caused a great deal of harm. English ivy is a weed that can quickly grow out of control due to its ability to survive in low-light, low-water conditions. Left unchecked, it can choke out shrubs and completely cover the trunks of native trees, preventing them from getting the light and water they need.

Keep an eye out for the growth of ivy and other invasive weeds; you may be able to pull them out by hand if they have not yet grown completely out of control. Herbicides can also be effective but one should exercise caution when applying them; they have the potential to harm native plants as well as invasive ones.

Extreme Weather

Native Oregon trees are vulnerable to the harsh conditions that can occasionally develop during the autumn and winter here. Heavy winds, or cold and icy weather, can damage trees and cause branches and limbs to fall onto and damage property. Trees can do a great deal of harm if they are not properly protected from harsh weather conditions; they have been known to close roads and knock down power lines.

Trees should be inspected before the winter for any limbs that look susceptible to adverse weather conditions; a certified tree service such as us at Mr. Tree can remove weakened limbs if necessary and thus potentially save a great deal of money in property damage, as well as ensure the safety of your home and family.

Trees that become damaged in heavy weather conditions such as wind and snow are also more vulnerable to disease and insect infestations. If you notice that your tree has been damaged after a storm, call your local tree service to come and advise you promptly.

Ensuring the health and safety of one tree will also help to protect the trees around it, as well as your family, home, and property.